After hours of debate over the lack of a raise for state employees, the Alabama House of Representatives finally approved a General Fund Budget.
Representatives voted 72-28 in favor of the $1.8 billion budget late last night. The funding bill now moves to the state Senate.
Montgomery lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to add some sort of raise or bonus for state employees, who haven't had a cost-of-living increase since 2008.
Rep. Napoleon Bracy of Prichard says lawmakers wouldn't expect to work 10 years without a raise.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Steve Clouse countered that the state needs to be conservative right now. He says Alabama is about to exhaust its oil spill settlement funding, and there is uncertainty about what changes federal officials will make to Medicaid.
Clouse says state employees have gotten merit raises, and the state is paying for employees' health insurance increases.